My dream of being a spacegirl faded when I learned that those suits take ages to put on. But thanks to this new pneumatic muscle-powered, shrink-to-fit spacesuit which can be put on in seconds, I can dream again.
Ok, so maybe the real suit isn't quite as slinky as the one on Jane Fonda there, but it's incredible anyway. Designed by David Akin and Shane Jacobs at the University of Maryland, the design is basically a baggy suit with an upper torso which "contracts using pneumatic artificial muscles to ensure a perfect fit."
I certainly hope those artificial muscles know when to stop squeezing, because crushed astronauts wouldn't exactly be able to use the "stereo LCD spectacles" and the in-helmet video screen that come with the suit. [New Scientist via io9]
Barbarella photo by Klipsch